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Investigating the Role of Perceptions about Drought Information and Forecast Accuracy in Midwest Rainfed Agricultural Decision Making

NIDIS Supported Research
NIDIS-Supported Research
Main Summary

Effective use of drought forecasts is critical for farmers to make well-informed decisions. A drought early warning system (DEWS) is especially important for stakeholders in rainfed agriculture, since without irrigation, little can be done to protect against droughts once a crop is planted. Despite the tremendous efforts to improve the quality, applicability, and delivery of drought forecasts in recent years, many farmers do not utilize drought forecast information provided by NOAA and others, especially in the Midwest.

This project, through a focus group study, one-on-one interviews with farmers, and surveys, advances our understanding of farmers' current attitudes towards and response to drought forecast information. This project will provide recommendations to NOAA and others to improve the use of forecast information by farmers.

For more information, please contact: Molly Woloszyn (

Research Snapshot

Research Timeline
September 2018 - August 2020
Principal Investigator(s)
Ximing Cai, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Project Funding
Coping with Drought FY 2018
Focus Areas (DEWS Components)
Related Topics

What to Expect from This Research

  1. Behavior data regarding the perception of farmers and crop advisors toward climate forecast information and their behaviors in decision-making (e.g., insurance, crop planting, etc.).
  2. An end-to-end forecasting framework based on a co-production approach involving both researchers and stakeholders to assess the value of particular climate forecast products.
  3. Insights about the barriers of using drought forecast information due to stakeholders' perceptions (especially of stakeholders in rainfed agriculture communities in the Midwest) and the changes to their perceptions with the improved forecast accuracy.

Read the researchers' article in Weather, Climate, and Society: "Modeling Users' Trust in Drought Forecasts."

Key Regions

Research Scope
DEWS Region(s)